I can tell you a lot about board games…but some, such as Star Wars Miniatures or Settlers of Catan or Heroscape, I can tell you more than others. Because I have played them again and again. Others I can tell you a little bit because I have researched them…but I have not experienced them.
Have you read the story about the centurion? It is found in Matthew 8. This centurion comes to Jesus because his servant is sick. Jesus says “Shall I come and heal him?” The commander says: “No, don’t come to my house. All you need to do is speak the word and it will be done, just like I order my soldiers and servants and they comply.” Jesus was “amazed” at this. He immediately spoke the healing word and the man’s servant was healed that same hour.
Reading this just now, I noticed something: this centurion didn’t have to go to Jesus on behalf of his servant. He could find new servants. I doubt he was required by any Roman law to seek healing from the Son of God for his servant. But he did anyway.
Jesus says that many will come from far away to sit at a dinner with God, but those in the kingdom would be thrown out to darkness.
You can research Jesus all you want. The Jews had done this. They had studied the Old Testament and all its prophecies of Christ over and over…but most still missed Jesus. They still did not understand who He is and what He is about.
Research is a great tool. We should research diseases we are facing, questions we have about scripture, and certainly questions and skills needed for jobs. But research is not the same as experiencing something. I have not yet played Star Wars Rebellion. I know a bit, but I have not experienced it. I can’t tell you what works well and what does not work at ll. I have played many games of Heroscape. I can look at a few army cards from that game and tell you if they can work together and what your pitfalls might be. My buddy Darrin could teach a class on the game as he has played many tournaments of it at GenCon.
This man, who had come from beyond their boarders and was not raised with the Old Testament, trusted Jesus. I don’t know how many times he had watched Jesus heal someone. I’m guessing he might have seen it before, especially if he had been stationed in Capernaum for a while (Jesus visited this city often). He went beyond research to trust.
Some have said that research does not support the idea of the Bible being the Word of God. That research says that many “holy books” can lead someone to an enlightenment of some sort. Here is the thing: God is a being, not a system. You can’t learn His ways merely through research. You have to talk with Him, spend time with Him.
I can tell you God is a God of love and grace. Not just because I have read about Him, but because I have experienced Him. My challenge to you is to seek to experience Jesus. Start by asking Him for it. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you and be open to it. Don’t do it as a test…just do it to find Him.